In 2017, global information technology was a $4.5-trillion industry. The U.S. accounts for 31% of this. That makes the nation the world's biggest tech market and also the biggest tech spender.
This massive IT-related spending shouldn't come as a surprise though. For starters, the average American household alone owns about two dozen electronics. There's also the fact that almost nine in every 10 Americans use the Internet.
The need for IT is even more important for businesses, small or big. After all, infotech has penetrated most modern business transactions.
So, what about tech support? Does your business need it?
The simple answer is that IT support can benefit all businesses, regardless of size. How much and what kind exactly - well, that depends on how big your organization is.
In this post, we'll address all these concerns. Keep reading to learn what makes a support team the best for your business!
Determining between an In-House and an Outsourced Team
Factor in the type of business you run and the level of service you need. This'll help you determine which one's more practical - an in-house team or an outsourced service.
But let's face it. Limited funding makes it difficult to add even more people to your payroll. Especially if you consider that IT specialists make an annual average of $54,926.
That said, you may be thinking to delegate IT support tasks to your current employees. You're not alone - it's become a common practice amongst smaller businesses.
If you do though, don't expect the best results. In fact, what you should expect is a reduction in output and decreased productivity. After all, you're placing more work on your people - work they may not even be fit for.
With outsourcing, you can choose the exact level of support you want to get. You can even dictate the exact services you expect them to deliver. You can also specify the number of hours you need them for, whether every week or every month.
That's why the first step to choosing the best IT support is to figure out your business' needs first. Create a list of IT activities you need professional help for. From here, you can better determine whether it's best to outsource or hire an in-house tech.
A Quick Look at the Outsourced IT Support Segment
Granted, giant corporations rely on round-the-clock tech support. But did you know that many of them outsource their support staff? A 2017 report found large organizations now spend 8.7% of their IT budget on outsourcing.
That represents a 2.4% increase from the previous year's IT outsourcing budget! But they're not the only ones choosing this innovative support method.
Even smaller businesses now allot 7.8% (from 6.7% the previous year) of their IT budget towards outsourcing. The same goes true for midsize companies, raising their budget to 6.5% from 4.7%.
The Types and Levels of Information Tech Support
A major reason behind this growth is the extreme flexibility of such services. Some technicians work much like how pay-as-you-use services do. For instance, when you encounter technical issues, you can call them up and they'll fix it for you.
There's also specialized support for the most critical applications of your business. You can hire IT specialists with the sole purpose of handling disaster recovery (DR). In many cases, you can have these experts cover backup functions too.
On the other end of the spectrum is round-the-clock tech support. In this case, you have access to IT professionals 24/7. They monitor every aspect of your IT department every second, every single day.
In an ideal, financially-stable world, every business should consider 24/7 support. Unfortunately, we don't live in one, so many businesses have budget constraints. That's why many organizations prefer the flexibility of outsourced services.
The best tech help firm will let you dictate the specific levels of support you need. They will work with your budget and help you determine which areas you need the most help in.
Help with Moving to the Cloud
You know that moving to the cloud can save businesses loads on reduced overhead costs. How much exactly though?
To put things in perspective, the State of Wyoming saves about $2 million a year since it migrated to the cloud. Colorado also cut its expenses by $2.4 million after its email and other services went cloud-based.
These figures should already prompt you to take the same route to cloud computing. The thing is, you'd need experts to move your entire system there.
For starters, because they're the best choice for the safest, fastest migration. Their knowledge allows them to make the move with the least risks for security issues. They're also the safest choice to prevent potential massive data losses.
Besides, they have disaster recovery tools in the unlikely event something goes wrong.
Protection Against Security Breaches
Everyone - including individuals and smaller organizations - need to protect themselves from potential cyberattacks. That's right - giant companies aren't the only targets of such crimes. Data and network breaches can happen to anyone.
Consider this. We're only in the third quarter of 2018, but 22 million sensitive records were already exposed.
What's even worse is that a single cyberattack has led to 60% of small businesses closing up shop. We're talking permanent closure here.
That's why you need your IT support team to also specialize in cybersecurity. Luckily, you can outsource many of these services, including protection from the following:
- Data breaches and theft
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
- Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
With IT specialists on your team, you can prevent these attacks from forcing you to go out of business.
Don't Risk Your Business and Your People - Get Tech Help Now
There's no denying that budget plays a big role in your capability to take on a tech support team. But that shouldn't force you to compromise many of your business' applications. It's far riskier (think $525,000 in cybersecurity damages) to have no IT specialist on board.
Besides, outsourcing already addresses all these cost-related worries. You can hire tech help on a project basis or only for a small monthly cost per employee. It's all up to you and your business' needs.
Want to further explore the world of information technology services? If so, then feel free to pay our blog a visit!